"It was probably the best quarter Big Blue has had in recent memory, if not ever," said Bob Djurdjevic, president of Annex Research. "Wall Street doomsayers and recession buzzards had better look for trouble outside the IT industry, for things could not be better in this sector." ...
IBM also said it signed new services deals worth $14.7 billion, up 12% from a year ago, giving the company a total backlog of $117 billion in services deals.
Yet CEO Sam Palmisano received an 11% pay raise and he and other executives have been enriching themselves from selling stock options. (See http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/invsub/insider/trans.asp?view=All&Symbol=ibm).
Many media outlets are reporting the profit surge. We need to get the message out that employees demand pay raises. Please go online to your local or national media and use the online comments area in the IBM profit article and make your views known. You can start here.
At a time where employees and retirees are facing declining standards of living due to the high cost of everything it is time to demand that IBM share the wealth with those who built and continue to work at IBM.
If you are not yet a dues paying member of the Alliance please join and help support the organizing campaign at IBM.
Could it be that IBM is using > $2b in a share buy-back. Not surprisingly this boosts the share price, and guess who benefits from that. Well the very same execs who are ordering the buy-back are choosing to exercise their share options and are selling them at market price ! A nice little earner if you can get it. Furthermore, the same execs also get a nice bonus due to the rising share price. Disgusting isn't it ... smells of Enron too.
Another chunk of the profits is being used to boost share dividends (earnings per share), and what do you know, it's the same execs with their nose in the trough once again. First the wait for the quarterly dividend payment before selling up those share options, and would you believe the get another bonus for the increased earnings per share.
I have never known morale in IBM to be so bad, but it is what we have come to expect from this money grabbing business who exploit their employees and give nothing back in return. But then again, it is a cheap way to increase the attrition rates in the drive to move work from Europe and the US into low wage economies. It's just like the tea and coffee plantation exploitation all over again.
Ironic that the latest results have been driven by services doing so well - I personally see it as a mistake to neglect services since services drive hardware and software sales so by pissin off all the services ppl we will end up losing the SW and HW sales in the long run.
People bitching that it shows the services managers are all tightwads miss the glacial nature of IBM - it takes months for the business to decide on pay levels so these will have been set when the economy was all doom and gloom and IBMs strategy is to invest in the software business so surprise surprise no money for services.
So far in 2008, we are not achieving our full potential and have missed our signings, revenue, profit and utilisation targets. Whilst we have improved year on year, we have fallen behind what is required to achieve our full year targets and as such (in common with many other lines of business within the UK) the budget available for salary increases in 2008 is much reduced.
I therefore regret to inform you that you have not been selected to receive a salary increase this year.
I am aware that with a PBC 2+ rating for 2007, this will be a major disappointment to you. However due to the limited salary budget available this year, it has just not been possible to include everybody with a 2+ rating in this year's coverage.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued commitment to AS Delivery. Please talk to your "NEW" Manager if you have any concerns. As we are now in the mid year review cycle this may be the most appropriate time for the discussion.
The state of New York said it will spend $90 million on economic-development grants associated with the semiconductor plant and the college. It also will spend $50 million to build a new semiconductor-packaging center that IBM will operate along with the college and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, of Troy, N.Y. The location of the center hasn't been determined.
The investment and job creation would begin by 2009 and be completed by 2011. It comes with a pledge from IBM that it will not cut jobs in New York this year. It announced hundreds of layoffs in Vermont and Canada in recent months.
Together the facilities employ more than 11,000 people, but IBM officials stopped short of pledging other jobs outside of the semiconductor industry will be spared future job cuts after the end of this year. ...
One IBM retiree wasn't as upbeat about the state's involvement. Poughkeepsie resident Benoit Ventimiglia feels IBM should add 1,400 jobs to its East Fishkill operation before getting New York state funds. The 84-year-old retired from IBM in 1992 after working as a senior engineer in Poughkeepsie. In 1996, he worked as a sub-contractor for IBM in East Fishkill until getting laid off in 2001. This May, to help make ends meet, he sought a one-year work contract with IBM, but it was canceled. "All of a sudden, they said they froze all hiring," Ventimiglia said. "I'd like to see the job market growing. Otherwise there is no benefit to the people," he added.
Lee Conrad, national coordinator of the Alliance@IBM, a local of the Communications Workers of America, expressed concern about the lack of specific details announced Tuesday. "We need to have full disclosure from IBM and New York state about just how many jobs and what kinds of jobs those are," he said. "If they are going to talk about employment, they need to be clear about what the definition is. Many times we see these jobs filled with temporary workers, and that's just not right." Conrad also stressed any no-layoff deals should be in place for all of IBM's New York locations because state money is involved.
The last time IBMers got a memo from their leader about the state of the company was in early spring, when CEO Sam Palmisano was raving about corporate profits and the stock price increase. In fact, he did his job so well that he received $20.9 million in compensation, an 11 percent increase. In contrast, most resources did not receive a pay raise this year, and the lucky resources that did cannot say that the raise is outpacing inflation.
The math is very clear to me: Rob people of their livelihoods so that the fat cat can get even fatter. The corporate greed of the 21st century and the return of the robber barons is nothing new. IBM is not the only multinational corporation that has total disregard for the people it hires and fires. The bigger question is: Why are people doing nothing about it?
How low will the American middle class go before it starts demanding a New Deal from the government to protect it from modern-day robber barons? In France, for example, a corporation needs to show at least three consecutive quarters of losses before it can lay off a single person. It makes sense to me. How about this one from Japan: salary caps!
Unfortunately, a lot of people in the U.S. still believe in the American dream. They still hope that one day they will strike it rich and make millions of dollars. Statistically speaking, that will never happen to Joe Average. As long as Joe Average does not realize this, the fat cats will continue to use the American dream as a carrot on a stick to prevent the people from uniting and demanding a change. Dragana Djuricic Mendel. Wake Forest.
Think like a mercenary, think like a slave about ready to leave the plantation for better things and you'll be OK.
In the Americas, the future is in small, quick firms that are close to the customer, not the big multinationals. You've been servicing a declining market. Here's some ideas:
While AT THE SAME TIME IBM displays NO loyalty to employees and has complete freedom of action to lay off these loyal employees at a moment's notice (after they have trained their replacements that is), reduce their salary or whatever is required to get the current quarter's stock options vested to the executives. OK that's my cynical post for this week.
Personally, I was also fortunate to be in a high-tech area when I took "early retirement" (after just being transferred because my "skills were in demand" at that site). I was able to temp/contract until my age worked against me (in spite of all my marketable skills and keeping abreast of current technology with college classes). But that is another story. I was also fortunate that while I was tempting, I was able to earn more than what I made at IBM, allowing me to set aside my retirement checks. However, not everyone was/is that fortunate. I will say one thing, if I had a crystal ball, I would never have busted my backside in all those IBM years working all those long hours, week after week.
One last comment - re being a harsh world and companies no longer being loyal to "loyal employees", I posted in the IBM Think Group about Tom Watson Sr. not laying off people during the depression and while I was working, we had a couple of depressions and no one was laid off. Today, IBM management would just as soon lay off more people and tell Wall Street look how while they cut costs and then give themselves a hefty pay increase. Please no posts on how the BOD decides on their compensation when they are lackeys hand-picked by top management. And, yes, I realize this is true of most corporations.
"Any time we see a cutback like this, we see this shift and more people are underinsured, and we're seeing more doctors not accepting Medicare because it doesn't pay as well," Genord said, noting many just pocket the extra money or pay bills. "Some of these patients won't get preventive care and will show up in emergency rooms more," Genord said. "So we see our older population not getting the care they should."
"GM's decision to cut retiree benefits is likely to have only small impact on (Medco's) 2009 earnings. Even so, we see the move as a watershed event for the retiree benefits marketplace that is likely to lead other employers to do the same, which will, in turn, cause the issue to grow as an overhang for the stock, " Morgan Stanley analyst David Veal said. ...
While there hasn't been a dramatic change in recent years, the percentage of large employers offering retiree health benefits has declined substantially in the last two decades, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Among large companies that offer health benefits to active employees, 33% offered retiree health benefits in 2007, compared with 66% in 1988, the foundation said.
So now the Bush administration proposes to make the federal guarantee explicit and even to offer taxpayer money to help recapitalize the two banks if needed. Everything has been nationalized -- except the profits and the pay scales of the bank's executives. That's right. If the guarantees work, private speculators, having driven the stock down, will clean up on the upside. And the bank's CEO's will continue to pocket the multi-million dollar salaries that are de rigueur on Wall Street. Call it Wall Street socialism. Their losses are socialized; their profits are pocketed. You and I will pay for their failures. And if conservatives have their way, their families will pocket their successes, without even having to pay a tax for the transfer of the estates we've helped to create. ...
Why pay dividends to shareholders when they are essentially playing with our money? Why pay managers of public enterprises the bloated pay packages of Wall Street speculators? Why allow them to finance lobbyists to shield them from accountability? The fiction of their separate existence has been exploded; let's save the dough and run them efficiently. ...
Republicans seem ideologically committed to these kinds of arrangements. In Medicare for example, conservatives have demanded that the government subsidize private insurance companies to compete with public Medicare, even though Medicare provides healthcare much less expensively. When Bush and the DeLay Congress drove through the prescription drug bill, they included a provision that PROHIBITS Medicare from negotiating cheaper prices for drugs, effectively turning the bill from a benefit to Seniors to a multi-billion subsidy to private drug companies (not surprisingly, after Wall Street, the drug companies finance one of the most lavish and powerful lobbies in Washington).
Now it makes sense to me for the government to subsidize housing mortgages and college loans. Encouraging home ownership and higher education are central to sustaining the broad middle class that is America's triumph. But I can't imagine why we need to let bankers and investors pocket the upside, when they are playing with our money and we're covering their losses. Public enterprise may be staid and bureaucratic, but it's a lot cheaper and more efficient than the perils of Wall Street socialism.
But GM's announcement Tuesday that it would cease medical coverage for its salaried retirees age 65 and above signals that a new era of ever-shrinking benefits has arrived. Beginning in January, even former employees who are already in retirement will lose their benefits, which most of the company's retirees use to supplement gaps in their traditional Medicare coverage. The auto maker will boost monthly pension payouts to help offset the cuts. The company's unionized workers aren't affected by the cut to retiree health benefits. ...
Retirement-benefit experts have for some time been recommending that all workers -- even those close to retiring and who've "earned" full retiree benefits -- should assume that those benefits will likely be eliminated, either before or during their retirement, and start planning and saving for it. ...
Unlike just about every other kind of compensation, such as salary or pensions, retiree health benefits can be taken away even after workers have built them up. Indeed, unless a union contract prevents it, companies typically have a free hand to reduce or eliminate retiree health benefits for both active employees and retirees. "Employers can pull the rug out from under their older workers and their retirees at any point -- there's no guarantee these benefits will continue," says Richard Johnson, a retirement researcher at the Urban Institute.
President Bush has filled top posts across his administration with people who do not agree with the missions of their organizations. His Environmental Protection Agency has failed to protect the environment; his Justice Department has promoted injustice.
To lead the Department of Labor, Mr. Bush appointed Elaine Chao, who took office in 2001 arguing that states should be able to opt out of the federal minimum wage — a terrible idea that would drive down wages for the lowest-paid employees. For more than seven years, Ms. Chao has run a department that has tilted toward employers and failed to properly enforce labor laws.
In a report released this week, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office took a close look at a sampling of cases handled — or, rather, mishandled — by the Wage and Hour Division of the Labor Department. It found that the division failed to adequately investigate complaints that workers were not paid the minimum wage, were denied mandatory overtime or were not paid their last paychecks.
Private health plans were promoted in the 1980s and 1990s in the belief that they could reduce costs and improve care through better management. And for a while they did. But policy changes that were championed by the Bush administration and a Republican-controlled Congress led to exactly the opposite outcome.
These private plans — that now cover a fifth of the total Medicare population — receive large subsidies to deliver services that traditional Medicare provides more cheaply and more efficiently by paying hospitals and doctors directly. Congress was right — for reasons of equity and of fiscal sanity — to pass a bill that would at least begin to remove some of the subsidies. ...
That set the stage for the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act, which dumped hefty new subsidies on private plans to encourage them to rejoin. Medicare now pays the private plans, on average, 13 percent more than the same services would cost through traditional Medicare. The subsidies have fueled explosive growth in the least-efficient plans, fee-for-service plans, which do little or nothing to justify their 17 percent overpayment.
This is outrageous. Instead of paying private plans less than traditional Medicare, in the belief that they could find innovative ways to cut costs and improve care, we are now paying them significantly more. The only explanation is Republicans’ ideological compulsion to provide a private option.
A third of Americans said they believe the U.S. system “has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it,” while only 9% in the Netherlands hold such a sentiment about their health-care system. Twelve percent of Spaniards favored a complete overhaul, compared with 15% in France, 17% in New Zealand, 18% in Australia and 20% in Italy. ...
“What Americans are upset about is the unbelievable hassle of having to select health insurance, maybe not getting it … losing insurance when they lose their job,” Reinhardt said. “The American citizen is massively insecure.” Doctors and nurses routinely hear demoralizing news that U.S. medicine is inferior “when the real problem is the way we finance health care and the hassle of claiming insurance,” he said. ...
What’s more, Americans’ personal share of medical expenses is the highest in the industrialized world, Davis said. In 2007, 30% of Americans reported having out-of-pocket medical expenses of more than $1,000 in the last year compared with 19% of Australians, 12% of Canadians, 10% of Germans and New Zealanders, 5% of Dutch and 4% of Britons.
Consequently, it is difficult to determine the actual price for a service, although a government agency could report average prices, the CBO brief suggested. The CBO brief focused on charges for hospital care, physician services, and prescription drugs, which represented some two-thirds of national health care spending in 2006.
The report, the second national scorecard from this influential health policy research group, shows that the United States spends more than twice as much on each person for health care as most other industrialized countries. But it has fallen to last place among those countries in preventing deaths through use of timely and effective medical care, according to the report by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research group in New York. ...
Karen Ignagni, the chief executive of America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group, argues that much of the higher administrative costs stem from the additional services provided by United States insurers, like disease management programs, and the burdensome regulatory and compliance costs of doing business in 50 states. A more uniform system could result in savings, she said.
The U.S. spends twice per capita what other major industrialized countries spend on health care, and costs continue to rise faster than income. We are headed toward $1 of every $5 of national income going toward health care. We should expect a better return on this investment. Performance on measures of health system efficiency remains especially low, with the U.S. scoring 53 out of 100 on measures gauging inappropriate, wasteful, or fragmented care; avoidable hospitalizations; variation in quality and costs; administrative costs; and use of information technology. Lowering insurance administrative costs alone could save up to $100 billion a year at the lowest country rates.
Any complaining about quality of work is just a dog and pony show for their business areas. For WellPoint to ever complain of off-shored resources, language barriers, etc, just will illustrate how hypocritical they are. In the end, they will get what they pay for. Honestly, I don’t believe anyone wants to be the 10-15% left behind as I’m sure your job will become to clean up and cover up the work being done off-shore. Things like on-call should be interesting. Anyone who does on-call and works with the WellPoint NOC knows how unbelievable they are.
I can only imagine when the primary on-call person is off-shore and they either start calling the secondary (or anyone else they want) because they’d rather deal with someone who they can understand. Bottom line is whenever someone at WellPoint is unhappy with the service they get from IBM, they should thank their own management for signing this deal… Oh yeah, out of the three of them, two got canned and the CEO retired. How convenient. -Never surprised anymore-
I start soon as a server tech for a smaller company who was glad to get my skillset and provide me with Dell training and gave me a $20k raise. Thank you IBM for pulling the contract and thank you Qualxserv for laying me off. Some people there haven't had raises for 8 years. There are jobs out there, get on websites and search. I'm glad to find out my real worth and a company who appreciates a mature tech with a work ethic. Sign me "Glad to be away from Big Blue. -Anonymous-
Are you a fan of YouTube? Want to show your creative side and make an impact on the next generation of GBS consultants? Take the 2008 Video Challenge for GBS. Our University Recruiting team is challenging you (GBS Consultants) to use your creativity to show college students nationwide what it’s like to be a consultant at IBM. Explain in a two to five minute video the benefits of an IBM consulting career and why college candidates should join GBS. Selected videos will be showcased in college recruiting this fall to help attract the best and brightest on campus. Winners will also be awarded great prizes:
Just post your video on YouTube, using private group name, "IBM Recruiting Challenge Group" from now until August 31, 2008. Winners will be announced on September 15, 2008. Get the complete details on the GBS U.S. Video Challenge 2008 and enter your video! For more information, please contact Shae Moore. -anonymous-
Alliance Reply: Probably very little, if any chance that IBM will resume contributions to any pension plan or offer a new pension to new employees. IBM has spearheaded the move away from pensions, medical and other benefits; once enjoyed by IBM past employees. That said; Collective bargaining for a union contract between the IBM company and employees and their union reps is definitely an option. However, what must take place prior to that bargaining, is a massive organizing campaign that successfully attracts a majority of IBM employees to join a union. in this case, it would be Alliance@IBM CWA.
The amount of effort involved is no secret. It needs to be concerted and it needs to persevere through time. The employees are the ones that must step up and do the organizing, inside the company. It is best if they are union members and active employees, inside IBM. We have said previously, that US labor law requires a minimum of 30% of employees to sign union authorization cards; before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will allow a union election process to commence. Generally, unions don't ask for a vote until they achieve 60% or more signed cards.
The irony is, that is the only way the employees can actually have a chance to negotiate for fair wages, salaries, benefits and working conditions. Individuals can claim they can do it alone; but the results in their favor are miniscule at best. Organize! Join Alliance@IBM
Anything to save your management money so they can squeeze as much out for a profit. It starts at the top this pay philosophy does. Sam is an A**hole, so are most if not all the IBM executives. Junior wannabe executives at best. No. Leaving and coming back is not an option. IBM doesn't ever admit their mistakes. You think they would hire anyone back at a higher salary now when they can kiss commie red butt in China for pennies on the dollar? ANYONE in IBM USA that doesn't join the Alliance now needs their coconut examined. Unless you kiss the right butt your job is gonna be history before too long. Forget earning more $$$ if you are in IBM now. -Anonymous-
Is it 40%,,60%...80% what is it, how much? You're already working 50~55 hours a week, guess you just need to buckle down and work 75 to 80 hours a week. You guys probably were not doing much of anything on the weekends anyway so go into work tomorrow and lets see what happens next time performance reviews come around. Labor stats show that the avg. hourly wage now is $18.00 an hour. That's $37,440 based on a 2,080 hour year. Add in your 15 hours of time and a half overtime, about 700 hours after discounting two weeks vacation and that's another $18,900. Altogether the average worker in the US working the number of hours that you do is at $56,340. From a management perspective almost everyone is above average . Hell we need to get you down to the industry standard level of $56K a year.. -anon-
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC.
This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.